Court Sets Date for Landmark Mention in Kyarikunda Vs Tumwiine Marriage Promise Dispute

RUKUNGIRI – The Grade One Magistrate’s Court in Rukungiri District has officially set October 17th, 2023, as the date for the hearing of a significant legal matter. The hearing pertains to a mention application filed by Fortunate Kyarikunda, a case that has captured attention due to its tumultuous history.

Kyarikunda’s application seeks to challenge a previous ruling that favored Richard Tumwiine in a dispute involving a broken marriage promise.

Kyarikunda’s persistence in seeking justice has been remarkable, having previously faced disappointment with three similar petitions before the Grade One Magistrate’s Court in Kanungu district. Undaunted, this marks the fourth time she has pursued her case. Her legal representation, Atuheire Phiona of M/S Twikirize & Company Advocates, argues that the Kanungu court displayed bias, citing an alleged failure to receive the original summons.

On the opposing side, Richard Tumwiine, represented by his legal team at Nabimanya and Company Advocates, has filed a defense along with a security for costs application.

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However, Rukungiri Grade One Magistrate Gonzanga Mbakangu has made a decisive ruling. He declared that Tumwiine’s application would not proceed before Kyarikunda’s case is addressed, citing concerns about Kyarikunda and her lawyers’ conduct in court. Their repeated absence and disruptive behavior during previous proceedings prompted this decision.

In light of this ruling, the court has scheduled October 17th, 2023, for the mention of Kyarikunda’s case. It’s worth noting that this is the second time the case has appeared in this particular court. Curiously, Kyarikunda refrained from speaking to the media, and our reporter was denied permission to photograph her while inside the courtroom.

On the other hand, Tumwiine Richard, the applicant in this case, expressed satisfaction with the court’s decision, which he believed favored his position. He welcomed the adjournment and remained hopeful that the mention would lead to a more favorable outcome.

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Efforts to contact Fortunate Kyarikunda’s lawyer were unsuccessful, as the attorney was seen departing the court premises on a boda boda, while Fortunate Kyarikunda left the court on foot.

In the original ruling handed down in January 2023, the Grade One Magistrate’s Court ordered Kyarikunda to pay Tumwiine the sum of 9.4 million Shillings, covering the expenses he had incurred for her education. Additionally, Kyarikunda was directed to pay one million Shillings in general damages, accounting for the inconvenience and psychological distress caused. In total, this amounted to 10.4 million shillings.

The history of this legal dispute traces back to 2015 when both Tumwiine Richard and Kyarikunda Fortunate, who were both teachers, began their relationship while working at Kiringa Primary School in Kambuga sub-county. In 2018, they entered into a marriage agreement, during which Tumwiine generously provided financial support for Kyarikunda and sponsored her Diploma in Legal Practice at the Law Development Centre in Kampala.

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Tumwiine claimed to have invested 9.4 million Shillings in her education. However, Kyarikunda later withdrew from their marriage plans after successfully completing her course, citing concerns about Tumwiine’s age and the potential stress it could bring into her life.

Tumwiine, aged 60, and Kyarikunda, in her thirties, had initially planned an introduction ceremony scheduled for February 2022. Subsequently, Tumwiine took legal action against Kyarikunda for breaching the marriage promise, seeking a refund of the financial investment intended for their future as husband and wife.

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